It’s hard to believe that I moved to Colorado in 1998 – that was 18 years ago! Seriously? Where have the years gone? I always say, “El Paso is my home”, but in fact I have lived in Colorado longer than I lived in El Paso. Kinda crazy to realize that.
When I miss El Paso, not only do I miss my family, homemade dishes, and culture, but I also miss some of my favorite restaurants. I road tripped to El Paso in June thanks to Toyota for the comfortable ride, and of course I had to stop at some of my favorite restaurants and wanted to share the places I visited with you.
There is so much good food on the borderland. If you live in El Paso or are from there you know that we have a love affair with our food. El Pasoans have a beautiful connection with food and memories – not only home cooked meals but at establishments that have been around for years.
First stop is always Chico’s Tacos. It is such a crazy concept and not “authentic Mexican” cuisine, but their rolled tacos/flautas served in a special sauce is so addicting. You wouldn’t expect drenched soggy flautas to taste so good, but they are magical. I have a recipe for homemade Chico’s Tacos here. When I think of Chico’s Tacos I think of Gabriel Iglesias, AKA Fluffy and his skit about floating Chico’s Tacos. Watch it to understand this hardcore El Paso tradition.
Technically this restaurant is not in El Paso – it’s 20 miles outside of town in Fabens — in the middle of the desert. This restaurant is family owned by Germans who moved to Texas and purchased the property in the 1960’s, which started out as a horseback-riding ranch. Now, it’s a hidden paradise for meat lovers since 1973.
Their steaks are aged to perfection and seasoned with secret seasonings and considered one of the best steakhouses in the country. When I think of El Paso I think of the Wild West and beef, and Cattleman’s serves it all at Indian Cliffs Ranch.
La Posta de Mesilla
La Posta is also not in El Paso, but only a short drive to Mesilla, New Mexico. It had been years since I visited Old Mesilla. This roaring Wild West town has so much western history.
If these walls could talk – in the 1800’s La Posta was once a stagecoach line and sheltered historical figures such as Billy the Kid and Pancho Villa just to name a few.
La Posta opened in 1939 and serves authentic home-style Mexican dishes and is a great place to stop for a full meal or appetizers and margaritas. Known for their creative use of local products such as chile, honey, and pecans, each margarita is a unique and delicious tasting experience. Old Mesilla is a great place to shop for wine, art, pottery, jewelry, and décor. I won’t go into detail, but lets just say the shopping in Old Mesilla was some much needed retail therapy.
Flautas y Paletería Tepalca
When I’m in El Paso I am always on the hunt for elote en vaso (corn in a cup). Just typing this and seeing this picture seriously makes my mouth water. My mom took me to a restaurant I had never been to before called Flautas y Paletería Tepalca. It’s tucked inside a strip center and if you blink you might miss it, but I’m telling you it’s worth the stop. Their elote en vaso was delicious, but not only that, they have very good flautas, aguas frescas, and paletas. Tepalca is an El Pasoan’s dream that longs for Juarez street food.
There are so many other restaurants I love in El Paso and I wish I could have visited them all. I have a feeling this blog post won’t be the last one I share about the delicious border food of El Paso I crave.
If you have a favorite El Paso restaurant that I didn’t mention, please tell me about it below.
Special thanks to Toyota for the 2016 Highlander Hybrid loan.